In South Africa, the country moves towards local government elections. By definition, these elections have a huge impact on the living conditions of people at the most basic level. They are also the only elections in which individuals are voted for directly. There have been instances in the past where local problems and prejudices have been manipulated and magnified for political gain, but with huge deficits of trust and physical and material disadvantage following as a result. Thus, some commentators hold that xenophobic attacks are most likely at election times, when community prejudices are ramped up. It is argued that candidates and parties feel emboldened to act in such ways because no sanction follows. Some of the smaller parties have entered this fray, bringing the issue of foreign nationals into sharp relief, especially in areas where there is contestation for scarce resources.